President-elect Joe Biden is already formulating plans to roll back Trump-era climate policies. In his first 100 days as U.S. president, he has pledged to tackle what he calls “the No. 1 issue facing humanity,” and has named several climate change experts to his transition team.
Key goals of Biden’s climate plan include:
- Net-zero carbon emissions: At the heat of the plan is the goal of carbon-free electricity production by 2035 and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
- Millions of new jobs: According to Biden, his policies are not just about saving the planet but a strategy to create millions of new jobs and transform the U.S. economy.
Biden intends to “launch a national effort aimed at creating the jobs we need to build a modern, sustainable infrastructure now and deliver an equitable clean energy future.” Such a plan will require “millions of construction, skilled trades and engineering workers to build a new American infrastructure and clean energy economy.”
Biden intends to make a $2 trillion accelerated investment. Although likely to meet political challenges, the plan is sure to have an effect both nationally and globally as it introduces more clean energy initiatives such as wind and solar power, more electric vehicles, etc.
But what about at the state level? To answer that question, LawnStarter, a leading U.S. outdoor services provider, combed through the data and published the report, “Biden Climate Plan: Which States Will It Impact the Most?” The report ranks the 50 states and the District of Columbia on 30 key metrics related to the president-elect’s climate agenda. Some examples include the number of billion-dollar natural disasters in the past decade, oil production, the share of electricity from renewable resources and tailpipe emission standards in each state.
According to the report findings, states that stand to see the greatest impact include:
- West Virginia
The Lonestar State took the top spot in the Climate Change Impact category with over 63 different billion-dollar natural disasters in the last 10 years. While Texas has borne the brunt of climate-related damages, it’s also poised to reap some benefits from its enormous clean energy potential, especially from wind power.
States along the Appalachian Mountains such as Tennessee and West Virginia also find themselves at the top of the ranking of those most impacted. These states have traditionally been where the U.S. has mined for coal, leading to higher rates of pollutants and lower current rates of electricity from renewable sources. Biden’s climate policies could bring some much needed change and investment to a region that has been economically struggling for decades.
Six states in the top 10 are in the South and it’s easy to see why. States such as Louisiana and Mississippi tend to have fewer existing environmental policies and less reliable infrastructure, while also remaining susceptible to climate-related disasters such as hurricanes and floods. But all this has the potential to change under Biden’s climate plan.
States likely to see the least impact from Biden’s climate plan include:
- District of Columbia
California, Oregon and Washington State have already implemented a number of environmentally friendly measures and infrastructure projects. Washington, for example, already gets 77% of its electricity from renewable sources. Consequently, the West Coast is not likely to see great changes emerging from Biden’s climate policies.
LawnStarter’s full ranking and analysis — include some surprising findings — can be found by clicking here.
Information provided by LawnStarter and substantially edited/enhanced by Becky Schultz.